Viola Fletcher is more than a survivor of the worst race massacre on American soil, she is a Leader.
Monday marks 100 years since the beginning of the Tulsa Race Massacre, on May 31st, 1921, in which over 300 people lost their lives, and over 10,000 people lost their homes
Viola Fletcher, Lessie Randle, and Hugh Ellis were eye witnesses to the events that occurred.
"I am 107 years old and have never seen justice."
“I will never forget the violence,”
On May 19th, 2021 Ms. Fletcher, Mr. Ellis, and Ms. Randle testified to the United States Congress, House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
Here are their words,
“Black men being shot. Black bodies lying in the street. I still smell smoke. I still see Black businesses being burned.”
“I hear the screams. I live through the massacre every day. Our country may forget this history, but I cannot. I will not.”
“Greenwood should have given me the chance to truly make it in this country, but in a few hours all of that was gone,”
“They murdered people,” said Ms. Randle, now 106 years old. “I still see it today in my mind.”
”I have survived 100 years of painful memories and losses. By the grace of God, I am still here. I have survived. I have survived to tell this story. I believe I am still here to share it with you. Hopefully, now you all will listen to us while we are still here.”
Viola Fletcher, her brother Mr. Van Ellis, and Ms. Randle are currently the lead plaintiffs in a reparations lawsuit against the city and county of Tulsa, the state of Oklahoma and Tulsa’s Chamber of Commerce.
As we honor their lives, we must also take up their work. The first step is sharing the truth of happened 100 years ago in Tulsa, Oklahoma to the residents of the Greenwood district.
The second step is demanding justice & accountability now.
TULSA DREAM CENTER
Photo by: Cheriss May